No broker-dealer conference is complete without its “big” announcement; that came early for more than 3,000 LPL advisors gathered in San Diego Monday morning for the start of a three-day conference with the announcement of sweeping technological changes designed to ease electronic communications.
The firm’s annual gathering was the first for chief information officer Victor Fetter (left), eight months on the job, and Fetter’s biography was part of the hoopla in the announcement buildup by LPL’s leadership. That is because Fetter assumed the CIO job after leaving Dell, with a view toward bringing a higher level of sophistication to the financial services industry, which is not known as a tech innovator.
The financial services outsider told the gathering that he spent his relatively short time in office visiting more than 50 offices finding out what advisors thought might make their lives easier and announced a variety of changes to make communications more visually dynamic, simpler and perhaps above all, more mobile.
“We’ve made over 300 changes in core platform,” Fetter told LPL advisors, and promised another 300 changes were already in motion. These tech fixes, suggested by advisors, cover the gamut from an improved CRM to enhanced reporting—items as mundane as changing a client’s residence online for trading authority.
But beyond the small fixes, Fetter announced a suite of broad changes and brought along six members of his team to demonstrate them, referring to them mostly by first name in the informal chat.
“What is your dream for technology at LPL? A paperless office? Integrated workflow?” Fetter asked. “Would you like to have a complete picture of your client’s financial life?”
The Charlotte-based tech exec painted a picture of advisors handling the gamut of professional needs from their mobile at their lake house, and introduced team members to provide details.